La Esquina, located on 114 Kenmare in SOHO, is a hybrid Mexican Restaurant and Speakeasy.
The restaurant is beneath, The Taqueria, which serves a small to-go lunch counter. There is also a cafe on the street level that serves full lunch, brunch, and dinner inside or at the patio tables. The main attraction, the Brasserie & Bar, is in the basement of the building. When you arrive, you walk down a flight of stairs, through the full-service kitchen, and into the bar / dining area.
The restaurant was similar to my experience at Ninja New York, in that it is a great venue with easy talking points, and a very original concept. The food was mediocre, and the drinks were average. In defense of La Esquina, I have heard the margs are some of the best around, but we ordered a Jalapeno concoction that burned with every sip.
La Esquina is a great date spot, and would be fun to have a celebratory dinner at or bring a visitor.
You must, I repeat, must…order the corn.
114 Kenmare, New York New York, 10012 (b/w Kenmare & Lafayette)
*Reservations are taken 21 days or 3 weeks to the day*
*I would also like to thank Dragan, for another great list suggestion!